Tawana Brawley Grand Jury Report
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- Publication date
- CC0 1.0 Universal
- State Of New York, Department Of Law
On the first page of this document, Robert Abrams says he was appointed Special Prosecutor January 26, 1987. It remains to be seen whose error this is, but the Tawana Brawley hoax was perpetrated in 1987, and the Grand Jury was empannelled the following year. There was no February 29 in 1987!
Regardless of this inauspicious start, this is an important legal document, and should be widely read, especially by feminist academics in the US.
- 2014-06-26 22:35:12.268516
- New York State
- ABBYY FineReader 9.0
- Public Domain.
Subject: Parental misconduct and lawyers in search of a cause celebre leads to fraud and libel
Reading the grand jury report reveals that Tawana Brawley, who was a minor at the time, was influenced by her mother's greed and fear. Both Tawana AND her mother were motivated by fear of Tawana's violent father, and concocted a fake rape to avoid her father's abusive wrath. The so called civil rights lawyers and Al Sharpton quickly took up the incident, turning it into a case of alleged white police officer violation and degradation of Tawana, an underage black girl. The case may have otherwise been dealt with by police authorities and social services in a more appropriate way, but this was not possible after the lawyers and Al Sharpton used case to grandstand about racist white on black violence, even though evidence was scant from the beginning.
After eight months of grand jury testimony, it became clear that there was no evidence of rape and no evidence of harm or degradation of Tawana by anyone, other than perhaps herself.
Thank you to the person who uploaded this report. Yes, it does have a few typographical errors. The alleged incident occurred on November 28, 1987. New York State Attorney General Robert Abrams was appointed special prosecutor in January 1988. The grand jury began hearing evidence on the case on February 29, 1988. The grand jury released its 170-page report concluding that Brawley had not been abducted, assaulted or raped, on October 22, 1988, and concluded that the allegations against Wappinger Falls Assistant District Attorney Pagones were false. To issue the report, the grand jury heard from 180 witnesses, saw 250 exhibits and recorded more than 6,000 pages of testimony.
Tawana Brawley's case was driven by fear and later the greed of her parents, but was otherwise different from the Rolling Stone story, "A Rape on Campus". The Rolling Stone hoax was perpetrated by a journalist, in order to provide a story that was consistent with what the publication wanted to believe about violence toward women in a college environment. There was no criminal accountability for the Rolling Stone hoax, despite the article doing great reputational and financial damage to the University of Virginia. In contrast, Tawana Brawley was an underage black high school student, not a privileged white co-ed attending fraternity parties. Tawana was used to further a social justice narrative by supposedly upstanding individuals, two attorneys and a reverend. Justice was served by disbarring the attorneys and awarding a settlement to the falsely accused district attorney, following a lawsuit. Tawana Brawley, the attorneys and Al Sharpton were each found liable for defamation of character and libel and ordered to pay damages. Rolling Stone issued an apology, and the reporter who was responsible resigned, end of story.
*While 1987 does not have a leap year, with 29 days in February, 1988 does. The Internet Archive upload has a few other transcription errors, but none impair the value of the report, which is no longer widely available.
Thank you to the uploader, and to the Internet Archive, for preserving this for us.
For users with print-disabilities
Uploaded by thedarkman on